Advances is Experimental Medicine and Biology 2018 March [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Petrella F, Spaggiari L


Two main fields of clinical applications of stem cells in thoracic surgery have been explored: (a) regenerative medicine, that is a branch of translational research in tissue engineering and molecular biology dealing with the replacement, engineering or regeneration of cells, tissues and organs to restore normal function; (b) drug loading and delivery, that is an emerging field proposing stem cells as vectors to deliver anti-cancer agents for targeted therapies. Bronchopleural fistula is a pathological connection between the bronchus and the pleural cavity that may develop after lung resection, thus causing pleural empyema due to colonization by resident airway bacteria; stem cells and regenerative medicine approach can effectively contribute to impaired bronchial healing, thus preventive a septic and ventilator catastrophe.In the field of thoracic oncology, MSC are probably one of the best choice for anticancer drug delivery, emerging as potential experimental approach to malignant mesothelioma treatment.The goal of this review is to focus on clinical applications of stem cell technologies in thoracic surgery, emphasizing regenerative medicine aspects as well as drug loading and delivery in thoracic oncology.